Former Colonel Alexander Vindman wants the U.S. to create a no-fly zone in Ukraine. Former Ambassador Michael McFaul said that’s a declaration of war.
It’s a declaration of war
The host, Katy Tur, asked Former Colonel Alexander Vindman if given the assessment that Russia does not want a confrontation with the United States/NATO if creating a no-fly zone in Ukraine should be less of a risk. Vindman seemed to think so.
“Absolutely,” Vindman said. “We have to understand that our options are going to narrow and that the risks we perceive today as high are going to be pale in comparison to the risks that will face months down the road as this unwinds a humanitarian catastrophe and Russian incrementalism. Again, this is the doubling down approach that Vladimir Putin prefers, and that’s brought us to this point.”
Former Ambassador Michael McFaul has a different take on the no-fly zone that is more compelling. He first gave kudos to the MSNBC coverage of Ukraine and pointed out that Alexander Vindman was a part of his team when he served politically. And then he pointed out the pragmatic truth.
“Full disclosure,” McFaul said. “Colonel Vindman, he wasn’t a colonel then, but he served on my team in Moscow. So you’ve got great guests. And I really want to just congratulate the coverage that we had; we together have been doing here, especially the Ukrainian voices. Their voices need to be heard. I disagree with Alex. I think a no-fly zone is the wrong move. I support the president of the United States on that. Let’s just get rid of this euphemism no-fly zone. Let’s call it for what it is. It’s war. If we try to implement a no-fly zone, that means that an American pilot has to shoot down a Russian pilot. And if we do that, that’s a declaration of war. And Vladimir Putin has been very clear that that’s the way he sees it.”
McFaul then made the case many have been trying to make for decades. If we are to go to war, it must not be a singular decision of the executive but the people. And that means as the Constitution demands, it is Congress that declares war.
“If we’re prepared to do that if the American people want to go to war with Russia,” McFaul said. “I think it would be a mistake. But if we’re prepared to do it, then we should have a vote in the U.S. Congress because the Congress is supposed to declare war. That’s what we need to do. First, we should stop calling it a no-fly zone, and we should start calling it a declaration against Russia to go to war. And I just don’t think that’s the right thing to do right now.”
I can understand why Alexander Vindman wants the no-fly zone. He is a born Ukrainian. He is more attached to Ukraine personally than most Americans. It is human nature. But we are playing a very high stakes game with a mad man that must be stopped and at the same time give him no options to take us into an abyss,
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